Date of Award

Summer 7-15-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

Daniel P. Franklin

Second Advisor

Michael Evans

Third Advisor

Robert Howard


The President performs many roles, but one role of increasing importance over time is that of Chief Manager of the Economy. In the era of the modern presidency, there has been a growing institutionalization of the executive branch’s management of the economy. Presidents approach economic management differently depending upon their personalities, management style, and their time within both the crisis and the administration. Three case studies will be used to explore the differences and similarities in presidential actions during times of economic crisis: these case studies will examine the presidencies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard M. Nixon, and William J. Clinton. The different methods and policy actions taken by these presidents are described as change oriented economic policy, electoral gain economic policy, and preemptive economic policy. This research will examine these methods to determine: 1.) How did each president approach economic policy? 2.) Were their approaches similar to a domestic policy or foreign policy? and 3.) What factors influence these approaches?